Kudos to Senator John McCain of Arizona: FLOOR STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT ON CIA INTERROGATION METHODS Dec 09 2014 Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today delivered the following statement on the…
It’s not feasible, of course, but I wish we could see polling numbers on issues distributed by congressional district. While it may be true that the American people look more favorably on gay people than they do on evangelical Christians, how is that opinion reflected in the constituencies of our congresspeople?
This is a question I’d like to see answered on a whole variety of issues, from immigration reform to reproductive choice to gun control to raising the federal minimum wage.
Just because the majority of the American people desire something or look favorably upon it, doesn’t mean that they get a Congress that is representative of that opinion. I mean, set aside the always strong possibility that a member of Congress might not vote the way his or her constituents would like; I think part of the problem is simply that Congress is made up of distorted constituencies that don’t collectively reflect the will of the people as a whole.
Example one is obviously that 1.37 million more people voted for Democratic House members than Republican ones in the 2012 election, and yet the Democrats didn’t even come close to winning control of the lower chamber.
A December 2012 analysis by the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan D.C. publication, said House Democrats out-drew their Republican counterparts by more than 1 million votes–1.37 million votes to be precise, Cook’s House editor, David Wasserman, later calculated.
Between the two parties, Democrats won 50.59 percent of the vote while winning 46 percent of seats, leaving the Republicans with 234 seats and Democrats with 201. The Republican advantage was a decrease from the party’s 49-seat majority in 2011-12; Democrats held House majorities from 2007 through 2010.
If we think about the country geographically, in what percentage of the territory do you think it is true that people look more favorably upon gays than evangelical Christians?
Compare that number to the raw national opinion numbers and you can get an insight into the disparity between what the people want and what they actually get in Congress.